Forensic Sciences: Firearms Unit

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The FBI has numerous divisions that specialize in specific forensic sciences. One of the subdivisions is the Firearms tool marks Unit or otherwise known as the FTU. The FTU main focus is determine whether a specific firearm fired a bullet or cartridge retrieved from a crime scene. The firearm examiner has two specific parts to their criteria, first they always solve fore the class characteristics and after they have successfully determined that step examiners then look and study the individual characteristics. Class characteristics used in firearms comparison are traits that have measurable features (Firearms & Tool Mark, n.d.). There are a few characteristics that are identified when trying to distinguish the class of the firearm, the general rifling which is the caliber of the barrel, the dimensions of the impressions inside a gun barrel and the directions of the twist of the rifling grooves (Firearmsid). Once the firearm investigators complete this task they will be able tell what type of weapon was used at the crime scene. The next and final step is the individual characteristics comparison, where the examiners try and find a match for the firearm used (BulletID.com, n.d.).). All firearms have their own unique individual markings that they leave behind from the bullets and casings. According to NCDOJ.gov, no two firearms even from the same make and model will produce the same unique marks fired bullets. section. An individual…show more content…
The differences between the class and the individual characteristics of the firearms are slightly different they go hand and hand., you need one to discover the other. The FBI, state and local agencies enter their findings on a computer based system where they can compare images of cartridges found at other crime scenes, this helpful tools is called the Integrated Ballistics Identification Systems are IBIS (Firearms & Tool Mark,

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